Nursing Professional Practice Model Environment of Care Relationship-Based Care Relationship-Based Care Relationship-Based Care Structures Processes Optimal Patient Outcomes

Each tier can be opened by clicking on the appropriate section. A larger view of the Professional Practice Model is available by clicking here. 


Nurses in UC Davis Health System are transformational leaders at all levels.  Nurses are respected for their expertise and structures are in place to support engagement in the professional practice of nursing.

Professional Governance

Professional governance is a structure that empowers professional direct-care nurses to contribute collaboratively as decision makers regarding the nursing practice environment. This includes standards of practice, policies and procedures, resource utilization and stewardship, evidence-based practice and research, and quality and performance improvement. The system-wide councils  exist to support the Unit-Based Practice Councils. The purpose of the system-wide governance councils is to coordinate the activities to outcomes in the areas of nursing, evidence-based practice and research, education, relationship-based care, nursing excellence, technology, and nursing quality.


 When our patient needs our voice to speak for them, we will advocate for their needs until they are heard or their safety is ensured to the best of our ability as professional nurses. We recognize advocacy as an essential element of the professional practice of nursing at UC Davis Health System and support our nurses in actualizing this role through sustaining a healthy work environment, supporting relationship based care, and providing ongoing development opportunities for communication and leadership.  


We support professional nursing practice at UC Davis Health System based on the foundational principles of accountability, autonomy, and standards.  Peer review is the process through which we as UC Davis Health System nurses ensure adherence to the highest standards of our profession.  Peer review in nursing is the process by which practicing registered nurses systematically assess, monitor and make judgments about the quality of nursing care provided by peers as measured against professional standards of practice (ANA, 1975). The purposes of peer review are: to evaluate the quality and quantity of nursing care as it is delivered by the individual nurse, to determine strengths and weaknesses of nursing care, to provide evidence for use as the basis of recommendations for new or altered policies and procedures to improve nursing care and to identify those areas where practice patterns indicate more knowledge is needed. Individuals, institutions, and the nursing profession all derive benefits from an effective peer review program. With respect to the individual, participation in the peer review process stimulates professional growth. See the California Nursing Practice Act (PDF) & The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

Clinical Expertise

The all RN staff in UC Davis Health System places a high value on professional development in order to provide optimal care for their patients and to achieve their own personal and professional satisfaction.  There are many mechanisms through which the nursing staff develop and maintain this clinical expertise.

Mentoring/Role Model

UC Davis NursesAs professional nurses we acknowledge our collective role in sharing our knowledge and expertise with our peers through both informal and formal mentoring opportunities.  We offer support for our new graduate nurses through our participation in the UHC/ANCC Nurse Residency Program. This is a nationally recognized program through which we support the new graduate in making a successful transition from student to confident professional nurse.  Through the role modeling provided by preceptors, clinical facilitators, and mentors, the new nurse is able to acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to provide safe, high quality care.  In addition the new nurse is introduced to a network of colleagues who provide mentoring and access to  opportunities for professional development.  As we move through our career we maintain that commitment to providing positive role models for others and in seeking out mentors for ourselves.  This is supported through an active professional development program offered to each nurse at UC Davis Health System.

Experience/Lifelong learning

We view learning as a life-long process, which is essential to the professional growth of the RN striving to deliver optimal patient care in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.  Obtaining specialty certification through professional nursing organizations is encouraged and supported through financial support and course offerings. We believe that specialty certification contributes to the highest level of quality and safety and supports optimal patient outcomes. 

Caring Practices

Primary Nursing

Primary Nursing is a relationship-based with a therapeutic presence, autonomous, evidence-based, and collaborative delivery care model. Primary Nursing is a system for delivering nursing care that is based upon the four elements of:

  • Responsibility for Relationship and Decision-making
  • Work Allocation and Assignments
  • Communication with the Health Care Team
  • Leadership

The Primary Nursing role is based upon responsibility, accountability and authority: the responsibility to develop a therapeutic relationship, the accountability to the patient, family and members of the health-care team and the authority to develop and implement an individualized plan of care for the patient.


We believe that excellence in nursing practice is delivered through nursing presence.  This presence is defined as a relationship between the nurse and patient in which the nurse encounters the patient as a unique individual in a unique context, and chooses to engage with the patient in ways that recognize and respect this individuality. 


As UC Davis Health System professional nursing staff we have many opportunities to collaborate with interprofessional teams in leading organizational change to support excellent clinical outcomes for our patients.  The foundation of our ability to work with interprofessional teams is grounded in our commitment to utilizing respectful, professional communications.